Players were behind Grant

PUBLISHED: 15:57 11 October 2007 | UPDATED: 10:37 14 September 2010

Caretaker boss Jim Duffy has rejected claims that City players downed tools under Peter Grant.

"I think that's rubbish. I don't think that's the case," said Duffy, in temporary charge after Grant left his post as manager by mutual consent on Tuesday night.

Caretaker boss Jim Duffy has rejected claims that City players downed tools under Peter Grant.

“I think that's rubbish. I don't think that's the case,” said Duffy, in temporary charge after Grant left his post as manager by mutual consent on Tuesday night.

Some supporters felt certain players had not given their all in the last few matches of the manager's reign.

But Duffy argued: “I don't think they weren't playing for the manager. I think you could see that day in, day out at training, the players were giving 100 per cent. If two or three key players lose form, it can sometimes maybe give that impression, but I don't think that was the case at all.”

Duffy, 48, who arrived at Carrow Road in February as assistant manager, was taking charge in his caretaker role for the first time in training today.

He said: “The task in the short term is just to keep things as professional as possible until the board decide in which direction they want to move the club.

“Either fortunately or unfortunately, there's an international break, so we have a few days where we can just take stock and take time and I'm sure the board of directors will do that as well.”

Asked whether he wanted the job on a permanent basis, he said: “It's not for me to decide. It's for the board to decide.

“You can't really win with an answer. If you say you want it, people think you're trying to jump in the manager's chair straightaway. If you say you don't want it, people question ambition.

“For me it's just a case that I'll do the job that the club asked me to do until they decide otherwise.”

Taking over from his friend and former colleague had its difficulties, he said.

“You have that moral dilemma. Peter knows that. I spoke to him as well but you also have a professional duty to do the best you can for the club. The club is a fantastic club. It's a great job, I love the job, even the difficult days. It's a strange kind of masochistic mentality you get into sometimes within football. I'll enjoy it until somebody tells me different.”

But Duffy said he was “extremely disappointed and saddened” by Grant's departure.

“I know from working with him very closely how much he'd given to the football club. But football is gauged on what happens on the pitch over the 90 minutes and recently those results and performances haven't been good enough. Peter was aware of that, we've discussed it several times and he gave every ounce of effort to turn it around, but ultimately it just didn't fall for him.

“I think in the club you ask the players to put in 100 per cent but no one gave more than Peter Grant. I can assure you of that, the time he put in was immense, the effort he put in was immense. He imparted some great tactical knowledge to the players and the players to a man respected him totally, but he had a bad run with injuries to key players. He never made excuses about that and a lot of other managers would have.”

City chief executive Neil Doncaster said Duffy was asked to take the helm as soon as the decision over Grant was reached on Tuesday night.

He said: “We had a discussion with Jim immediately after the meeting with Peter and Jim agreed to take caretaker charge. When they players return to training, he will take training. If we haven't appointed a new manager by the Bristol City game, he will be the caretaker manager for that game.”

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